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Professors on the frontline – Using science to fight COVID-19

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Professor Rhoda Wanyenze was stepping out her office at Uganda’s Makerere University in March when a news item on the television caught her attention: more people had died of the novel coronavirus in China and Italy, and authorities were saying the pandemic was quickly making its way to Africa.

Immediately, Wanyenze – Dean of the University’s School of Public Health as well as an epidemiologist – felt a jolt of anxiety. In 2014, when an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea had been mishandled, the viral haemorrhagic fever had spread across West Africa like wildfire, killing more than 11,000 people.

The epidemic had left the rest of the continent paralysed and scientists and public health experts stupefied. It had been a global disaster. But the new epidemic, originating in China, felt different: the rate at which it was spreading and killing its victims was much faster.

Wanyenze reached for her phone and posted a call on the school’s Facebook page, urging fast action against the new epidemic.

“We must all act very fast given the rapid spread,” she said. “With COVID-19, every hour and day matters and we can quickly lose the battle if we don’t act quickly!”

Read the full article on University World News

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Dr Ruhweza provides missing link in our university education

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Dr. Ruhweza displays his book. Photo credit: The Observer

By David Lumu

How does one survive in this world which has been classified as VUCA [volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous]?

What survival skills are needed in this world? Is the university education still relevant to the needs of the world? Why would a young graduate ask for career advice a few days after graduation?

Why do parents have to look for jobs for their graduate children even after spending a lot of money educating them? Why do employers find it difficult to employ this generation termed as Millennials? How can those involved in policymaking and university education respond relevantly to the challenges faced today?

Those and more questions are answered in this 170-page book that challenges the reader’s mind to reason without bias or emotion in order to realise one’s ability. 

About the author

Daniel Ronald Ruhweza is on a mission to bring transformation to the nation of Uganda by raising a generation of young people to achieve their fullest potential while honouring God, their families and the nation.

He is patron of the Makerere University Christian Law Students Union, as well as Makerere Moots Society. He has also started student-focused initiatives such as The Manhood Vs. Maleness Conversation, Be The Change You Want to See, as well as a Book Club for university students.

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Makerere Fund starts open days for colleges

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The Makerere University flag. Photo: The Observer

By John Musinguzi

Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) has started scheduling and holding open days for each of the university’s colleges to showcase research findings and products from projects Mak-RIF has funded or supported.

This was disclosed by Prof William Bazeyo, the chairperson of the Fund, at the open day for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) on April 29, 2021 at the Arts Quadrangle, Makerere University.

“The Mak-RIF team will schedule and hold open days in all colleges at Makerere University. It is in such engagements that we shall be able to engage so that we share about the good work we are all doing,” he said.   

So far, the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) has held its own open day on April 15, followed by CHUSS.

In two years, CoCIS received 24 project grants while CHUSS received 61. After two weeks, the College of Health Sciences will follow; exhibiting at Mulago hospital.

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Innovation exhibition unveils tricks to boost the economy

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A researcher explains how the mobile e-governance service digital system works during the exhibition. Photo: The Observer.

By Ernest Jjingo

On April 15, the Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund organised an exhibition for the public to engage with some of the researchers and innovators from Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS). 

As ERNEST JJINGO writes, the Shs 60bn fund has empowered hundreds of innovators to provide key solutions in the sectors of health, farming as well as information and communications technology.

At the College of Computing and Information Sciences, dozens of exhibitors were on hand to welcome guests for the special event.

In many ways, it was sort of accountability for each exhibitor’s grant. Unlike farming exhibitions where exhibits are material stuff, most of this exhibition was digital and touched areas of taxation, healthcare as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

For one, Alex Mwotil stood out with his development of Crane Cloud, an open-source multi-cloud service layer for highly available cloud-based services in Africa.

Basically, Crane Cloud helps you to avoid the complexity and high expense of purchasing and managing a user’s own physical servers and other related infrastructure. Mwotil explained that Crane Cloud manages the infrastructure while you the user manage your applications and you get to only pay for what you use.

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